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Wake Up To Politics - February 6, 2015

To read today's edition of Wake Up To Politics in a PDF format, click here. Continue reading to find the text of the Wake Up in the body of the email!

Friday, February 6, 2015
641 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Friday, February 6, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP or subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or read my tweets and follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/Wakeup2Politics or read stories on Wake Up To Politics by clicking the media logos at the bottom.
White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule President Obama departs the White House at 11:35 AM for Indianapolis, Indiana, where he arrives at 1:30 PM.
  • At 2:15 PM, the President will speak at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis about the “middle-class economics” he laid out in the State of the Union address, including the plan to make two years of community college free for some students.
  • Afterwards, President Obama will take questions from students and faculty.
  • Elected officials, current and former and from both parties, joining Obama at the event include Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Rep. André Carson (D-IN), and former Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN.).
  • At 5:05 PM, Obama leaves Indiana, arriving back at the White House at 6:45 PM.
  • Biden’s Day Vice President Joe Biden is in Brussels, Belgium today, on a European trip including a stop in Munich, Germany.
  • In Brussels, Biden will meet with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Parliament President Martin Schulz and other European Union leaders.
  • In Munich, the Vice President will speak at the Munich Security Conference and meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Other American leaders at the Security Conference include Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
  • Kerry will deliver joint remarks in Munich with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
  • The top issue on the agenda of both Biden and Kerry is Ukraine, where the latter was visiting Thursday.
  • Rice to Release Obama National Security Strategy National Security Adviser Susan Rice will release the President’s National Security Strategy during an event at the Brookings Institution.
  • The strategy outlines Obama’s foreign policy priorities and plans, and the president is required to submit one to Congress (by a 1986 law). However, this is President Obama’s first National Security Strategy since 2010. Most presidents to do not follow this law; George W. Bush submitted two over eight years in office.
  • Ukraine is expected to be a top issue highlighted in the National Security Strategy.
  • January Job Numbers The monthly jobs report from the Labor Department was released Friday morning, and the agency reported that the U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January, just over what was expected. The unemployment rate also went up to 5.7%, from 5.6% in December.
  • 2016 Central
  • Green Party’s Stein Forms Exploratory Committee Dr. Jill Stein, the 2012 Green Party presidential nominee, announced Friday morning she is forming an exploratory committee to seek the Green Party presidential nomination in 2016.

Number of the Day

  • 18: The percentage of Americans ages 18-24 who could name one of their state’s U.S. Senators.
  • For 18 to 34 year-olds, that number was 34%, with 77% – three-fourths – unable to name a U.S. Senator representing their state.
  • These numbers come from Fusion’s 2015 Massive Millennial Poll, which you can read more about here.

Weekend Preview

  • Saturday, February 7: Paul in Iowa Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a potential 2016 presidential candidate, will be in the key early primary state of Iowa on Saturday, doing two events with Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA).
  • Sunday, February 8: Grammys The 57th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony is Sunday, and two politicians are up for awards: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former President Jimmy Carter, who were both nominated for “Best Spoken Word Album”.

Gabe's Bookshelf

  • Days of Fire It is rare to read a balanced and unbiased, yet thorough and detailed, account of recent and controversial events - but this is what Peter Baker serves up on the George W. Bush Administration, from the lens of Bush’s fascinating relationship and partnership with his Vice President, Dick Cheney.
  • The Vice Presidency was an accident of history, given just two constitutional duties: break tie votes in the Senate (which Cheney had to just eight times in eight years) and check the President’s pulse (not really). Together, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney revolutionized the office of Vice President of the United States, with the former giving the latter unpredicted control over a range of areas.
  • On issues like torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the work produced by this partnership remains relevant, as seen by the recent controversy over the CIA torture report. In a sharp editorial last month, The New York Times called for the former Vice President’s prosecution.
  • While it is often said that Cheney’s attitude in the Bush Administration marked a conservative switch from his previous time in politics (a claim examined in Days of Fire), the book follows a transformation of Bush as well - as he leans less on Cheney in his second term and relies on other advisers such as Condoleezza Rice, and ultimately becomes comfortable himself.
  • Indeed, by the end of the Administration, the duo had landed on opposite sides of a laundry list of controversial issues: Syria, Iran, North Korea, Middle East, torture, gun rights, and finally, a pardon for Scooter Libby.
  • Baker, Chief White House Correspondent at The New York Times, has spent much of his career at the paper’s Moscow bureau, reporting on foreign affairs, and Days of Fire is heavier on foreign affairs, as well. Issues closer to home such as elections or the economy are given less focus, although admittedly, much of Bush’s presidency was focused overseas.
  • A great read for all students of history – or those seeking to understand the previous Administration. Balanced, informative, interesting, and relevant: Days of Fire by Peter Baker.
  • P.S. The author actually follows me on Twitter, and when I tweeted him saying, “Just read #DaysOfFire and loved it, by the way.” To which he replied, “Thanks for reading, really appreciate it. Looks like you’ve got a lot on your plate!” That was probably a response to my Twitter bio, which reads, “13 yr old Editor, Wake Up To Politics, daily political newsletter. Author. Political junkie. Also attending middle school in my spare time.”

Do you have trouble keeping track of names in big books?
Well, here’s a handy guide of the Key Players in Days of Fire:

Team Bush

  • George W. Bush: President of the United States (2001-2009)
  • Karl Rove: Senior Advisor to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff (2001-2007)
  • Joshua Bolten: Deputy White House Chief of Staff (2001-2003), Director of the Office of Management and Budget (2003-2006), White House Chief of Staff (2006-2009)
  • Andy Card: White House Chief of Staff (2001-2006)
  • Dan Bartlett: White House Communications Director (2002-2005), Counselor to the President (2005-2007)
  • Ari Fleischer: White House Press Secretary (2001-2003)
  • Scott McClellan: White House Press Secretary (2003-2006)
  • Karen Hughes: Counselor to the President (2001-2002), Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2005-2007)
  • Michael Gerson: Senior Policy Advisor to the President and Chief White House Speechwriter (2001-2006)

Team Cheney

  • Dick Cheney: Vice President of the United States (2001-2009)
  • Scooter Libby: National Security Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Vice President (2001-2005)
  • David Addington: Counsel to the Vice President (2001-2005), Chief of Staff to the Vice President (2005-2009)
  • John Hannah: National Security Advisor to the Vice President (2005-2009)

National Security Principals

  • Condoleezza Rice: U.S. National Security Advisor (2001-2005), U.S. Secretary of State (2005-2009)
  • Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. Secretary of Defense (2001-2006)
  • Robert Gates: U.S. Secretary of Defense (2006-2011)
  • Colin Powell: U.S. Secretary of State (2001-2005)
  • Michael Hayden: Director of the National Security Agency (1999-2005), Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009)
  • George Tenet: U.S. Director of Central Intelligence (1996-2004)
  • Stephen Hadley: U.S. National Security Advisor (2005-2009)
  • Alberto Gonzales: White House Counsel (2001-2005), U.S. Attorney General (2005-2007)

Economic Team

  • Paul O’Neil: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (2001-2002)
  • Henry Paulson: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (2006-2009)

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question Ronald Reagan, who would have turned 104 today, was the only U.S. President to head a union. Which union was it?
  • Yesterday’s Answer As two GOP senators introduced a bill to abolish filibusters on Supreme Court nominees, Thursday’s trivia question was, “Who is the only Supreme Court nominee to be filibustered?”
  • The answer is Abe Fortas, who was Associate Justice when President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated him to be elevated to be Chief Justice.
  • Despite warnings of a filibuster, President Johnson, a skilled Senate vote-counter, believed Fortas had enough votes. This was a miscalculation on the part of the president, as Fortas was successfully filibustered by the U.S. Senate in October 1968. Johnson then withdrew the nomination.
  • GOOD JOB…Steve Gitnik, Rick Isserman, and Joe Bookman!!!